capital punishment


Summary: The use of the death penalty for certain crimes.

Top Publications

  1. Weisman R, Bernstein J, Weisman R. Inadequate anaesthesia in lethal injection for execution. Lancet. 2005;366:1074; author reply 1074-6 pubmed
  2. Zimmers T, Lubarsky D. Physician participation in lethal injection executions. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2007;20:147-51 pubmed
    ..Physicians and particularly anesthesiologists now have the opportunity to redress the mistakes of the past, and inform the growing debate over whether and potentially how medicine should be used to kill. ..
  3. Edens J, Colwell L, Desforges D, Fernandez K. The impact of mental health evidence on support for capital punishment: are defendants labeled psychopathic considered more deserving of death?. Behav Sci Law. 2005;23:603-25 pubmed
    ..Given the limited probative value of the PCL-R in capital cases and the prejudicial nature of the effects noted in this study, we recommend that forensic examiners avoid using it in these trials. ..
  4. Steinbrook R. New technology, old dilemma--monitoring EEG activity during executions. N Engl J Med. 2006;354:2525-7 pubmed
  5. Koniaris L, Sheldon J, Zimmers T. Can lethal injection for execution really be "fixed"?. Lancet. 2007;369:352-3 pubmed
  6. Gawande A. When law and ethics collide--why physicians participate in executions. N Engl J Med. 2006;354:1221-9 pubmed
  7. Liang B. Special doctor's docket. Lethal injection: policy considerations for medicine. J Clin Anesth. 2006;18:466-70 pubmed
  8. Zimmers T, Sheldon J, Lubarsky D, López Muñoz F, Waterman L, Weisman R, et al. Lethal injection for execution: chemical asphyxiation?. PLoS Med. 2007;4:e156 pubmed
    ..Thus the conventional view of lethal injection leading to an invariably peaceful and painless death is questionable. ..
  9. Dworkin G. Lethal injection, autonomy, and the proper ends of medicine: a response to David Silver. Bioethics. 2003;17:212-4 pubmed

More Information


  1. Heath M, Stanski D, Pounder D. Inadequate anaesthesia in lethal injection for execution. Lancet. 2005;366:1073-4; author reply 1074-6 pubmed
  2. Hildebrandt S. Capital punishment and anatomy: history and ethics of an ongoing association. Clin Anat. 2008;21:5-14 pubmed
    ..The intention of this review is to initiate an ethical discourse about the use of the bodies of the executed in contemporary anatomy. ..
  3. Koniaris L, Zimmers T, Lubarsky D, Sheldon J. Inadequate anaesthesia in lethal injection for execution. Lancet. 2005;365:1412-4 pubmed
    ..Methods of lethal injection anaesthesia are flawed and some inmates might experience awareness and suffering during execution. ..
  4. Waisel D. Physician participation in capital punishment. Mayo Clin Proc. 2007;82:1073-82 pubmed
  5. Ahmad K. The battle for child rights in Pakistan. Lancet. 2005;365:1376-7 pubmed
  6. Jackson D, Gartner C. Highlights of the 2006 Institute on Psychiatric Services. Psychiatr Serv. 2007;58:19-24 pubmed
  7. Peloso P, Dening T. The abolition of capital punishment: contributions from two nineteenth-century Italian psychiatrists. Hist Psychiatry. 2009;20:215-25 pubmed
    b>Capital punishment was the source of lively debate in Italy, from unification in 1861 until 1888. The precedent for abolishing the death penalty had been set in Tuscany in 1786...
  8. Lacoursiere R. Commentary: observations and concerns on the bigendering of our forensic fields. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2012;40:498-501 pubmed
    ..Suggestions for addressing gender discrepancy are offered, along with a cautionary note, such as in the area of experts in cases involving abortion. ..
  9. Quindlen A. The failed experiment. Newsweek. 2006;147:64 pubmed
  10. Maslen M, Mitchell P. Medical theories on the cause of death in crucifixion. J R Soc Med. 2006;99:185-8 pubmed
  11. Bushuven S, Heise D. [Propofol up2date. Part 1: history and pharmacological characteristics]. Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther. 2013;48:378-85 pubmed publisher
    ..Additionally there is dispute and unwarranted myth about the substance. Propofol is a highly potent hypnotic with a wide range of (un)desired effects. This article is reviewing the diversity of the substance in clinical practice. ..
  12. Edens J, Buffington Vollum J, Keilen A, Roskamp P, Anthony C. Predictions of future dangerousness in capital murder trials: is it time to "disinvent the wheel"?. Law Hum Behav. 2005;29:55-86 pubmed
  13. Kanaya T, Scullin M, Ceci S. The Flynn effect and U.S. policies: the impact of rising IQ scores on American society via mental retardation diagnoses. Am Psychol. 2003;58:778-90 pubmed
    ..This paper reports the perceptions of professionals as they relate to IQ score fluctuations in normal, borderline, and/or MR populations. ..
  14. Rayes M, Mittal M, Rengachary S, Mittal S. Hangman's fracture: a historical and biomechanical perspective. J Neurosurg Spine. 2011;14:198-208 pubmed publisher
    ..Schneider introduced the term "hangman's fracture" in 1965, and reported on the biomechanics and other similarities of the cervical fractures seen following judicial hangings and those caused by motor vehicle accidents. ..
  15. Gottlieb S. US court rules that insane prisoners can be executed. BMJ. 2003;326:415 pubmed
  16. Ytrehus K. [Was Jesus dead after the crucifixion?]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2002;122:833 pubmed
  17. Gold L. AAPL and the death penalty: a historical perspective on the debate. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2005;33:6-7 pubmed
  18. Beholz S, Kipke R. The death penalty and organ transplantation in China: the role of academic heart surgeons. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2007;26:873-5 pubmed
  19. Foreman M. State policies to support adolescents. NCSL Legisbrief. 2007;15:1-2 pubmed
  20. Zonana H. Physicians must honor refusal of treatment to restore competency by non-dangerous inmates on death row. J Law Med Ethics. 2010;38:764-73 pubmed publisher
    ..Psychiatric dilemmas as a subspecialty with unique roles have required more specific guidelines. A clinical vignette provides a focus to explicate the conflicts. ..
  21. Schmidt Recla A, Steinberg H. ["As we're not willing to hang and behead and not able to deport...". On Emil Kraepelin's influence on Franz von Liszt]. Nervenarzt. 2008;79:295-304 pubmed publisher
    ..Special focus should be directed on the psychologist Wilhelm Wundt, who criticised Kraepelin's juridical attempt in a very kind yet fundamental way, and on the relationship that existed between Kraepelin and von Liszt. ..
  22. Noah L. Attorney General's intrusion into clinical practice. N Engl J Med. 2002;346:1918-9; author reply 1918-9 pubmed
  23. Griffith E, Lewis D, Yeager C, Bard B, Blake P, Strenziok M. Re: Ethics questions raised by characteristics of 18 juveniles awaiting execution in Texas. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2006;34:143-4 pubmed
  24. Kramers C, Deinum J. Why physicians participate in executions. N Engl J Med. 2006;355:99; author reply 100 pubmed
  25. Sargent M. Less thought, more punishment: need for cognition predicts support for punitive responses to crime. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004;30:1485-93 pubmed
    ..High need for cognition individuals are less supportive of punitive measures because they endorse more complex attributions for human behavior than their low need for cognition peers. ..
  26. Burke A. Under construction: Brain formation, culpability, and the criminal justice system. Int J Law Psychiatry. 2011;34:381-5 pubmed publisher
    ..This knowledge, coupled with the assessment of developmental perspective, suggests that the adultification of youth (or waiver to adult court) is unduly harsh for youth whose brains have not fully formed. ..
  27. Ellis J. The law's understanding of intellectual disability as a disability. Intellect Dev Disabil. 2013;51:102-7 pubmed publisher
  28. Wang M, Wang X. Organ donation by capital prisoners in China: reflections in Confucian ethics. J Med Philos. 2010;35:197-212 pubmed publisher
  29. Weinblatt M. Physicians and execution. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:2182 pubmed
  30. Appel J. Wanted dead or alive? Kidney transplantation in inmates awaiting execution. J Clin Ethics. 2005;16:58-60 pubmed
  31. De Boeck P, Wilson M, Acton G. A conceptual and psychometric framework for distinguishing categories and dimensions. Psychol Rev. 2005;112:129-58 pubmed
    ..Empirical applications to personality disorders, attitudes toward capital punishment, and stages of cognitive development illustrate the approach.
  32. Abse D. Dannie Abse. Lancet. 2003;362:336 pubmed
  33. Kohr R. Letter to editor-autopsies on executed federal prisoners. J Forensic Sci. 2003;48:1203 pubmed
  34. Bonchek L. Lethal injection: let's be honest about the death penalty. PLoS Med. 2007;4:e213; discussion e224 pubmed
  35. Nelson S, Holmes D. Servants of the state: nurses caught between professional ethics and deathwork. Nurs Inq. 2003;10:1 pubmed
  36. Freedman D. When is a capitally charged defendant incompetent to stand trial?. Int J Law Psychiatry. 2009;32:127-33 pubmed publisher
    ..It also discusses the types of conditions which may interfere with competence to stand trial. ..
  37. McCann S. Societal threat, authoritarianism, conservatism, and U.S. state death penalty sentencing (1977-2004). J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008;94:913-23 pubmed publisher
    ..The interactive hypothesis and the results also are discussed in the context of other threat-authoritarianism theories and terror management theory. ..
  38. Onder O, Oner Ozkan B. Visual perspective in causal attribution, empathy and attitude change. Psychol Rep. 2003;93:1035-46 pubmed
    ..At the end of the experiment, participants' attitudes toward the death penalty were measured again. ..
  39. Slovenko R. Commentary: Old wine in a new bottle. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2004;32:317-8 pubmed
  40. Nau J. [More than a hundred Nobel price winners face Libyan obscurantism]. Rev Med Suisse. 2006;2:2639 pubmed
  41. Tsankov N, Kehayov A. Crisis in Libya: Doctor and nurses under death sentence. Clin Dermatol. 2005;23:527 pubmed
  42. Gottlieb M. Executions and torture: the consequences of overriding professional ethics. Yale J Health Policy Law Ethics. 2006;6:351-89 pubmed
  43. Aspaas P. Physician participation in executions--legal and ethical considerations. S D Med. 2006;59:422 pubmed
  44. Bhan A. Killing for the state: death penalty and the medical profession: a call for action in India. Natl Med J India. 2005;18:205-8 pubmed
  45. Ratner R. Ethics in child and adolescent forensic psychiatry. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2002;11:887-904, ix pubmed
  46. Lynch M, Haney C. Discrimination and instructional comprehension: guided discretion, racial bias, and the death penalty. Law Hum Behav. 2000;24:337-58 pubmed
    ..The study suggest that racially biased and capricious death sentencing may be in part caused or exacerbated by the inability to comprehend penalty phase instructions. ..
  47. Hildebrandt S. The case of Robert Herrlinger: a unique postwar controversy on the ethics of the anatomical use of bodies of the executed during National Socialism. Ann Anat. 2013;195:11-24 pubmed publisher
    ..It was also significant that Wollheim, Ströder and Scheller objected to Herrlinger in his role as a medical historian, not as an anatomist. The senate finally rejected the dissenting opinion and Herrlinger was promoted. ..
  48. Kearns T. The chair, the needle, and the damage done: what the electric chair and the rebirth of the method-of-execution challenge could mean for the future of the Eighth Amendment. Cornell J Law Public Policy. 2005;15:197-229 pubmed
  49. Van Soest D, Park H, Johnson T, McPhail B. Different paths to death row: a comparison of men who committed heinous and less heinous crimes. Violence Vict. 2003;18:15-33 pubmed
    ..Descriptive results suggest differences between the two groups of men related to 19 variables and the emergence of two diverse profiles of risk factors and life experiences. ..
  50. Sandelowski M. Response to Dave Holmes and Cary Federman: Killing for the state: the darkest side of American nursing. Nurs Inq. 2003;10:139; author reply 140-1 pubmed
  51. Weiss K, Haskins B, Hauser M. Commentary: Atkins and clinical practice. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2004;32:309-13 pubmed
  52. Lester D, Tartaro C. "Self-execution" and state execution. Psychol Rep. 2006;99:306 pubmed
    ..In the United States from 1977 to 1999, the suicide rate of death row inmates was not associated with their probability of execution (r = -.25). ..
  53. Matthews D, Wendler S. Ethical issues in the evaluation and treatment of death row inmates. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2006;19:518-21 pubmed